Skip to main content

Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

See other formats

ix             THE CHURCH OF S. MARY DIACONISSA           185
church, now the Kalender mosque of Constantinople, probably belongs to the intermediate period. The similar small cruciform church of Protaton, Mount Athos, is dated c. 950.' Hence if Theophanes and his followers are not to clash with these authorities on architecture, either Kalender Haneh Jamissi is not the church of the Diaconissa, or it is a reconstruction of the original fabric of that sanctuary. To restore an old church was not an uncommon practice in Constantinople, and Kalender Haneh Jamissi has undoubtedly seen changes in the course of its history. On the other hand, Diehl is of the opinion that the building cannot be later than the seventh century and may be earlier.1
Architectural Features
The church belongs to the domed-cross type. The central area is cruciform,, with barrel vaults over the arms and a dome on the centre. As the arms are not filled in with galleries this cruciform plan is very marked internally. Four small chambers, in two stories, in the arm angles bring the building to the square form externally. The upper stories are inaccessible except by ladders, but the supposition that they ever formed, like the similar stories in the dome piers of S. Sophia,' portions of continuous galleries along the northern, western, and southern walls of the church is precluded by the character of the revetment on the walls. In the development of the domed-cross type, the church stands logically intermediate between the varieties of that type found respectively In the church of S. Theodosla and in that of SS. Peter and Mark.
The lower story of the north-western pier Is covered with a flat circular roof resting on four pendentives, while the upper story Is open to the timbers, and rises higher than the roof of the church, as though it were the base of some kind of tower. It presents no indications of pendentives or of a start In vaulting. The original eastern wall of the church has been almost totally torn down and replaced by
* Manuel d'art byzantin, p. 312.